What are the symptoms of Bowel Cancer?
Bowel cancer may have no symptoms during the early stages of the disease but there may be some early warning signs. The symptoms of Bowel cancer may not develop until the disease has progressed into stage II or beyond***
Early warning signs of colorectal cancer
Most cancers in the colon or rectum develop from polyps, so screening to find and remove them when they first form helps prevent them from growing into cancers.
Common early warning signs of Bowel cancer include:
Rectal bleeding, either bright or dark red in color
Tenesmus, which is the feeling that you have to empty your bowel but nothing passes
Anemia caused by iron deficiency
Persistent abdominal pain
Unexplained weight loss
Although these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious conditions, such as hemorrhoids, ulcers and Crohn's disease, they should be discussed with a GP. Blood in the stool, even if it only appears intermittently, should never be ignored.
What tests are available?
NHS Bowel Cancer screening tests starts at 55+ with a colonoscopy and FIT test(Test for blood in the stools),
Several tests may be used to diagnose Bowel cancer, these include:-
Colonoscopy: Direct viewing with video camera through the rectum. Needs bowel prep and day case and/or biopsies taken
CT colonoscopy: Non invasive colonoscopy but involves radiation and bowel prep
FIT stool test: To detect blood present in Bowel Cancer but may be present in benign conditions(Piles). Does not detect mutated DNA. A fraction the cost of Colonoscopy.
sDNA stool test. ColoAlert detects 5 parameters of Bowel Cancer. It detect mutated KRAS/BRAF genes in stools found in Bowel Cancer. Its useful when Bowel cancer is found early and/or not bleeding yet. It also checks for FIT but blood can be degraded through the bowel and not detected with the FIT test. ColoAlert has the advanced Hb-Hp test detects hidden blood in stool, more sensitive and superior than FIT alone as it is relatively stable during its transit through the bowels. Overall a fraction the cost of Colonoscopy.
Bowel Cancer Survival Rates by Stage*
Stage 1 Dukes' A
95 out of 100 men (95%) with stage 1 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Around all women (100%) with stage 1 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Stage 2 Dukes' B
More than 80 out of 100 men (more than 80%) with stage 2 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Almost 90 out of 100 women (almost 90%) with stage 2 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Stage 3 Dukes' C
Almost 65 out of 100 men and women (almost 65%) with stage 3 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Stage 4 Dukes' D
More than 5 out of 100 men (more than 5%) with stage 4 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
Almost 10 out of 100 women (almost 10%) with stage 4 bowel cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they're diagnosed.
How is screening done in the UK?
55-59yrs: One time colonoscopy(subject to availability)
60yrs+: FIT( Faecal immunochemical Test)
Anytime: Symptomatic patients can see their own GP for assessment for referral to gastroenterology for a colonoscopy. This requires a referral, consultation, procedure date,bowel prep and time off work.
Why does Bowel Cancer screening concern me?
Big C: 4th Biggest Cancer in the UK (42000 new cases/year)
Serious: 2nd Biggest cause of death in the UK (16300 deaths/year)
Not treated seriously: uptake of screening is poor leading to more late diagnosis and poor prognosis
Under 50s: 10% colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in under 50s** and 73% diagnosed at later stage** (under 50s)
Is there an alternative in the meantime?
ColoAlert® is an award winning innovation and new to the UK
There is no other test like it
It combines the conventional FIT test with advanced German engineered sDNA technology (stool DNA)
They work in combination to detect blood (FIT test) and mutated DNA (sDNA) for the early detection of Bowel Cancer (Colorectal Cancer) before any symptoms or bleeding may occur. This offers a better early detection than faecal occult blood tests alone. Bowel cancer can be cured if detected early. ColoAlert detects 85 % of colorectal cancer cases and often in very early stages of the disease.****
Also available in the UK at our partner clinic Pallmall Medical.
ColoAlert® makes Bowel Cancer screening simple, fast and precise.